Salesforce vs SAP: Which CRM Software Is The Winner?


Choosing CRM software (Customer Relationship Management) can feel like one of Hercules’ impossible tasks: there are so many, some cost an arm a leg and a sacrifice to the gods, and did I hear something about an Oracle? All jokes aside, just like Hercules had Eurystheus to help him out, you’ve got us. While there are many CRMs to explore, we’re going to break down the differences between Salesforce vs SAP CRM.

Compare Salesforce and SAP Against Your Needs

Compare CRM Pricing & Costs with our Pricing Guide

How it Works

Our analyst team performed an intensive features comparison of these two CRM products and gave them a comprehension score. Every CRM is different, and just because one platform scores higher may not necessarily mean it is an objectively better system or will work better for you. This article simply measures how these two CRM systems stack up feature-by-feature. To find out which features you need to pay the most attention to, check out our requirements template. Now let’s see how SAP vs Salesforce breaks down:

Advantages and Disadvantages

Both Salesforce and SAP are powerful CRMs from mature companies that offer the typical CRM features — sales force automation, pipeline management, and SaaS or cloud access. They help sales reps and managers alike streamline their workflows and track leads to improve sales processes.

Salesforce is an industry giant. As 2018 comes to a close, it singlehandedly owns 30 percent of the CRM market share. For many businesses, this CRM-specialized company offers the best product. That being said, it had a higher rate of users replacing it for a different system than any other CRM named in our 2018 buyer’s survey. Because it is so large and so feature-packed, SMBs may find that Salesforce comes with too many bells and whistles that they’d rather not pay for. Its position is also anything but set in stone — plenty of other CRMs are gaining power and popularity that make them better choices for some organizations.

SAP is one of the biggest names in business software with solutions for computing, inventory management, ERP,  process integration, transportation management, business intelligence and more. Because of its diverse experience, some of SAP’s CRM modules have a leg up over Salesforce with its singular focus. In other more CRM-specific categories, it falls short in comparison. SAP’s various suites all integrate seamlessly, so it’s an ideal choice for large organizations that already use or want to use other SAP business software.

Batch Email Marketing

If you’ve ever entered your email to an eCommerce site to get a discount code and then received emails from them, you have firsthand experience with bulk or batch email marketing. This tactic may seem like shooting in the dark, but there are plenty of studies that show how and why it works. As CRM grows increasingly sophisticated, the personalization and customization options for bulk emails increases, and we see that in practice with both Salesforce and SAP.

Salesforce Sales Cloud has the capability to design emails and newsletters from prebuilt design templates or from scratch. Using CRM data, users can build personas for targeted user audiences in order to better cater to their users’ needs. Users can schedule broadcasts and view their calendar of scheduled messages to craft long-term strategies.

Salesforce also offers “email journeys,” or designated content workflows to encourage continuous engagement with your content. Their robust best practices and FAQ forum is an excellent resource to help users make the most of the powerful platform.

Salesforce offers easy-to-navigate batch email marketing features

With SAP CRM, customers can quickly and easily leverage enterprise-grade email marketing capabilities. This includes sophisticated campaign management and cross-channel marketing to attract viewers from a range of sources. Their high-volume delivery and advanced targeting offer wide scope as well as in-depth personalization. This CRM integrates inbound and outbound marketing programs into a single platform for user convenience.

Salesforce’s additional resources and step-by-step marketing campaign builders put it a step above SAP for batch email marketing capabilities.

@Salesforce rates better than SAP for batch #email #marketing in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two #crm tools.

Email Utilities

So we have tools to make and send emails, but what about monitoring those emails? Email utilities allow users to track how many emails are opened, how many incite site clicks and other important marketing data. This allows users to determine ROI on individual campaigns and make changes to future marketing efforts based on data collected from previous experience.

Compare Salesforce and SAP Against Your Needs

Salesforce allows users to easily track customer emails from any email app. Users can automatically capture every customer interaction with email campaigns, then associate those interactions with the appropriate contact, opportunity or account for future nurturing.

SAP has a similar feature for tracking interactions from emails based on whether they are opened, how often and whether those emails led to site views. Emails can be automatically tracked, but users must manually input special parameters into the tracking tool for any specific tracking.

Salesforce’s capability to assign interactions to contacts and opportunities adds a layer of sophistication that SAP lacks.

@Salesforce rates better than SAP for email utilities in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two #crm tools.

Online Case Management

Case management is the management of information, events, contacts, etc. related to an individual case. A case can be a customer service-related ticket request such as a return, but it can also incorporate internal processes and workflows. The benefits of case management are pretty simple — it helps your reps stay organized and effectively utilize information.

Salesforce case management allows users to view and edit service cases from anywhere. This system enables reps to easily escalate cases to subject matter experts so that user can deliver accurate answers back to the customer in a timely manner. Ticket options can be customized to your unique organization, improving the likelihood that cases will be solved quickly and efficiently by customer care specialists.

SAP Case Management collects information from various sources and stores it in an easy-to-access searchable database. Not only does SAP CRM case management process customer service tickets, it also manages a range of internal HR and financial cases such as illness benefits, dispute management, tax audits and collection management. SAP’s incident tracking offers custom fields and detailed data storage to ensure nothing is missed in documenting an issue. Reps can categorize cases in pre-defined priority hierarchies, and admins can set custom parameters for closing cases to remotely monitor closures.

SAP offers more robust functionality and diversity in its case management feature.

@SAP rates better than Salesforce for online #case #management in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two #crm tools.


Business intelligence (BI) tools are gaining popularity as an additional module in almost every other type of business software. It’s easy to see why — BI and business analytics allow users to gather detailed data and monitor KPIs of their day-to-day business operations. This data helps them make data-driven decisions for the long-term good of the company.

Salesforce’s paid add-on QlikView delivers business intelligence advantages with ease of use and minimal or no reliance on IT for near real-time analytics. Using QlikView, customers can drive higher levels of sales efficiency and effectiveness by measuring pipeline trends throughout the sales cycle. By analyzing customer and lead data, users can plan and track marketing campaigns to determine strategies for improvement.

Unlike Salesforce, SAP doesn’t specialize in only CRM. It incorporates capabilities from SAP’s BI system BusinessObjects like KPI reporting. It can be used directly in SAP CRM without having to use a separate BI system, but this limits its comprehensiveness in some cases.

Because it utilizes a separate, powerful BI platform that integrates seamlessly, Salesforce offers users an overall more robust BI module.

@Salesforce rates better than SAP for #BI in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two #crm tools.

Custom Reports

One key feature of BI is custom reports. Many organizations may find that pre-built report templates don’t meet their needs, so being able to create specialized reports can be very crucial to your business intelligence operations.

Salesforce reports and dashboards offer a real-time picture of your business at a glance. The solution allows users to create custom or pre-built reports to gather data on KPIs like sales metrics, rep performance and conversion.

SAP lets users create custom reports for various KPIs

With SAP, a user can create and change interactive reports from the same screen with their easy-to-use interface. Then you can assign reports to certain users or organizational units to make sure the necessary eyes land on them — and only the necessary eyes. SAP’s role-based access keeps data secured to organizationally appropriate roles.

SAP’s reports are more interactive than Salesforce’s and offer unique assigning and access abilities.

@SAP rates better than Salesforce for #custom #reports in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two #crm tools.

Industry Business Process Support

Different industries operate via different business processes, so software that is sold to a range of business types has to be able to simultaneously cater to specialized needs. How well the system can specialize varies system-to-system, often based on whether a vendor has the resources to create specialty modules or different versions of the software.

Salesforce practically wrote the book on CRM. Their CRM software streamlines sales, customer support and marketing business processes. It also provides deep analysis of important sales information and client data, ensuring greater client satisfaction.

SAP Business All-in-One solutions are based on the SAP ERP application and support core business processes in a range of industries. These processes include financials, procurement and logistics execution, product development and manufacturing, and human capital management.

SAP’s diversity may make it appealing to a wider range of industries, but Salesforce wins for CRM-specific business process support.

@Salesforce rates better than SAP for #industry #business #process #support in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two #crm tools.

Knowledge Creation Workflow

Knowledge creation is a fancy way to say a searchable database of information accessible to both internal and external users. This can be in the form of articles, video tutorials, forums, and other information resources that help customers find information and can serve as training material for your staff.

Compare Salesforce and SAP Against Your Needs

Salesforce Knowledge is a knowledge base where users can easily create and manage content, known as articles, and quickly find and view the articles they need. It is incredibly extensive and offers how-tos, forums for question and answer interactions, tutorial resources, and more. This knowledge base has role-based access restrictions, so what the public can see is different than what internal users see, allowing multiple functionality and usage. It is very user-friendly and comprehensive.

Salesforce’s accessible and comprehensive knowledge base is a valuable resource to users and customers alike

SAP CRM Knowledge Base function allows interaction center (IC) agents to search for solutions, documents and cases in a database, which can then be sent via email or chat to a customer. The public can also access a limited version of this system to find FAQs and other information.

While the platform is very similar, Salesforce offers a more comprehensive and user-friendly knowledge base for its users.

@Salesforce rates better than SAP for knowledge creation workflows in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two #crm tools.

Final Word

The SAP CRM vs Salesforce contest is a close one, but our analysts found that Salesforce performs better for more individual features. That being said, Salesforce may not be the best CRM for every company, so it’s important to keep your requirements in mind when researching CRMs. And if you want to see how Salesforce compares to other popular solutions, check out the reports in our CRM resource repository.

What do you think of our analysis of the difference between Salesforce and SAP? Do you have any questions about choosing CRM software? Leave us a question in the comments!

Top Competitors for Salesforce and SAP

Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Starting at $65 per user per month
Oracle Siebel
Starting at $3,750 per licensed user
Pega CRM
Starting at $200 per user per month
Netsuite CRM+
Starting at $129 per user per month
Sage CRM
Starting at $595 per user license or $39 per user per month
Starting at $40 per user per month
Starting at $99 per user per month
Nimble CRM
Starting at $22 per user per month
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Join the conversation
  • Juan Pablo Morales - August 28, 2020 reply

    Please indicate date of this article.
    If it is not recent, can you recommend one?
    Thank You

    Zachary Totah

    Zachary Totah - September 9, 2020 reply

    Hi Juan, the article was updated in Nov. 2019.

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